Essential Oils for Infants and Toddlers: Usages, Tips and Guidelines

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Naturally Blended

A Guide to Using Essential Oils Safely with Infants and Toddlers

By Tyler Hagan, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin

A Guide to Using Essential Oils Safely with Infants and ToddlersHere at Plant Therapy, we believe in empowering our customers with safe essential oil information to ensure they get the most out of all their essential oils. We’ve talked about dilution, KidSafe essential oils, and many more educational topics. For those of you who are familiar with our KidSafe line of essential oils, you probably already know that they were formulated for common concerns faced by parents with children 2 and up. But what about children under the age of 2? Can I use essential oils on children under 2? What oils can I use? What dilution rates should I use? These are some of the questions we get asked by our customers a lot, and we have decided it is time to provide. So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look into using essential oils safely with our littlest children.

Can I use essential oils on children under 2?

A Guide to Using Essential Oils Safely with Infants and ToddlersThe short answer, yes! Essential oils can be used on and around children under the age of 2. But there are some things to take into consideration. For instance, the essentials you choose to use, how you decide to use them, and what dilution you decide to use.

Which essential oils can I use?

A Guide to Using Essential Oils Safely with Infants and ToddlersWe took the guesswork out of determining which essential oils are safe to use with our little ones. All you have to do is look for the KidSafe logo. When properly diluted, essential oils marked with the KidSafe logo are gentle enough to be used on our littlest children.

What dilution rate should I use?

The dilution rate you use with your little ones is the most important thing to take into consideration when using essential oils with children under 2. As always, we recommend starting with the lowest dilution and working your way up as necessary. Here are the dilution guidelines you should follow for infants and toddlers:

For children ages 0-3 months, we recommend using 1-2 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of a carrier oil when used for whole body application. This would leave you with a dilution of 0.1%-0.2%.

For spot usage, you can use 3-9 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier.

For children ages 3-24 months, we recommend using 2-4 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier when used for whole body application. This would leave you with a dilution of 0.25%-0.5%.

For spot usage, you can use 9-27 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce carrier.

Why are KidSafe essential oils and dilution rates important?

Using KidSafe essential oils and low dilution rates is important when used on children under the age of 2 for almost the same reasons it’s important for children 2 and up. It’s no surprise that younger children have super sensitive skin. The thin, sensitive skin is much more permeable to essential oils than the skin of an older child or adult. Too high a dilution could cause skin irritation and other problems later down the road.

Are there gentler options?

A Guide to Using Essential Oils Safely with Infants and Toddlers

Having spoken briefly about the risks of using essential oils topically on our little ones, you may be asking… are there gentler options available? The answer is yes!

One of our favorite ways to share essential oils with our little ones creates an emotional and physical bond between baby and parent through touch. To use this method, all you have to do is apply the KidSafe essential oils to yourself using a low, 1% dilution and then snuggling your baby closely. This allows the baby to obtain the essential oils benefits in an easy, gentle way.

Hydrosols are another great option for babies and can be used for a variety of things. Lavender hydrosol is great to help promote sleep and relaxation for even the fussiest babies. You can spritz the lavender hydrosol directly on the baby, or you can spritz the baby’s bed right before bedtime. Our Chamomile hydrosol is excellent at providing some gentle, soothing comfort that typically accompanies teething. Soak a clean, warm washcloth in our chamomile hydrosols and gently rub it on the gums or outer jawline. If your little one develops some skin sensitivity or irritation, our Helichrysum hydrosol is gentle, soothing, and perfect for your little one.

Another product we’d recommend for your little one is our Organic Healing Balm. The Organic Healing Balm is gentle and soothing. It’s great for your little one’s sensitive skin and can help provide some relief from dry, irritated skin. It is packed with wonderful, organic carrier oils, butters, and beeswax, and is even infused with Calendula! It’s the swiss army knife of products for parents with little ones.

You can also use infused carrier oils (or just plain carrier oils!) on your little one without any added essential oils. This is an excellent option for relaxing baby and helping promote a healthy relationship between baby and parent. I love infusing our Organic Jojoba carrier oil with organic lavender buds for a gentle, relaxing massage oil. Just fill a sterile jar halfway with organic lavender buds, and then fill it with our Organic Jojoba carrier oil, or another carrier oil of your choice. Let it sit and infuse in a dark, cool place for a couple of weeks. Once you’ve let it infuse, strain the lavender buds, and use as needed.

So what about diffusion?

A Guide to Using Essential Oils Safely with Infants and ToddlersWe’ve talked about how to use essential oils safely through topical application, as well as other safe ways to use essential oils on little ones, but what about diffusion? We recommend diffusing KidSafe essential oils for 30-60 minutes a few times a day. It is also worth noting that there are fewer risks diffusing than using essential oils topically. We recommend taking that into consideration when deciding how to use your KidSafe essential oils with your little ones. If you can accomplish your goals by diffusing, that would be the way to go.

When should I use essential oils on my little one?

We have talked about which essential oils to use, how to use them, some of the safety concerns that come with essential oil use, and some safer alternatives to essential oil use. Now you are probably asking, When should I use essential oils on my little infants and toddlers? Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer.

It’s important to remember that even KidSafe essential oils are powerful tools that should be used with intention. As parents and practicing essential oil users, we must ask the question, do the benefits outweigh the risks? If the answer is no, essential oils may not be the way to go. Another question we have to ask ourselves is, is there an effective option that is safer with fewer risks? If you answered yes, then try those things first.

Lastly, you have to ask yourself, What am I trying to accomplish? This goes back to using essential oils with intention. If there isn’t a reason for using essential oils on your little one, it’s best not to. If you’ve gone through all of the non-essential oil recommendations mentioned above, and the issue still persists, moving onto essential oils may be your next step. But should you use topical application or diffusion?

If the reason is physical (think skin irritation, discomfort from teething, etc.), topical application may be the best choice. Just remember to use the proper dilution for your child.

If the reason is more internal (lack of sleep, respiratory support, etc.), diffusion may be best. Just remember to limit diffusion to 30-60 minutes, a few times a day as needed.

Keep in mind that whenever you have doubts, questions, or just need some reassurance using essential oils on your infants and toddlers, you can always email one of our certified aromatherapists at [email protected] or check out our group on Facebook, Safe Essential Oil Recipes.

144 thoughts on “A Guide to Using Essential Oils Safely with Infants and Toddlers”

  1. Thank you! This is what I have been looking for. There is so much conflicting information out there and this is a helpful resource to share with others.

  2. Glad you are educating others on essential oils. EO education is impertinent on your essential oil journey.

  3. I will definitely share this blog with my daughter. Her son is 2 months old and I can’t wait for her to try your essential oil selections on him! I’ve been using your products for several years and have been satisfied with every single purchase!

  4. Great blog/guide to using essential oils on little ones! I love Plant Therapy for their essential oils and passion for teaching you how to use them properly!

  5. Thanks for the wonderful blog. I am new to plant living and I love how one of its focuses are on the safe use of essential oils!

  6. As a mom of 4 who is also around many other kids daily, I need things that are safe. No other company puts this much care into making sure our kids are safe around EOs. There is some scary info being shared out there and I am confident when I come to PT for my education and products!

  7. Thank you so much for this blogpost! After I had number 12 last fall, I thought I had to give up essential oil use until baby turned 2! Then I stumbled upon this and now we can safely still use them! We prefer the method of diffusion but in case it’s needed, I know how to safely make a roll on for baby girl with the correct dilution rates!

  8. I usually diffuse a kidsafe oil such as sweet slumber, nighty night, relax, vetiver intermittently all night while my daughter sleeps. She’s almost 4…. should I be putting it on a timer and only diffusing for a maximum of 2 hours? I saw it said 30-60 minutes, is that for under 2 years or any children under 12 years?

    1. Tara, this has a lot to do with personal preference. If you have a 30 min on/off timer setting, that would be great to run through the night! If you do not have a timer like that, then setting it for 2 hours would be good. There really is no need to run the diffuser all night. And these suggestions apply to both children and adults! I’m going to link a wonderful video all about diffusing from one of our Certified Aromatherapists, Retha Nesmith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIzPVU2L6GE&feature=youtu.be&rel=0

    1. Zayda, for 6-month-old babies we recommend a dilution of 0.25%-0.5%, which is much lower than what our roll-ons are diluted to. Therefore, we would not recommend using them as-is, but you are more than welcome to add more carrier oil to your roll-ons to dilute the essential oils to a more appropriate level for a baby. Please reach out to our team of aromatherapists at [email protected] if you need help with that 🙂

  9. I love plant therapy’s kidsafe oils! I love that I don’t have to worry about whether or not an oil I am using is safe to use around kids and all I have to do is dilute it properly. This is one of the main reason I chose to use Plant Therapy!

  10. Thank you so much for this info on how to use oils safely with kids! I really appreciate the less-is-more advice and how using the wrong oils or the wrong dilution can cause problems, or even be harmful, to young kids. I’ve passed this article on to a couple of my friends. (I just wish I had come across this article and done some research a couple years ago)

  11. I’ve used lavender (different brands) in the bathtub for my little one (year and a half) and all it seems to do is irritate her skin and does nothing to calm her down. If anything it makes her more rowdy. Is there a different blend or oil I can put in her bath or diffuse in her room? We did the lavender mixed with water in a spray bottle to spray on crib bumper, we’ve done it in the bath, lavender diffused into the room in different ways… the little stinker is immune to it.

    1. Jessica, your situation has happened to others before, so never fear, you’re not alone! But as you’ve found such little luck with Lavender, you may want to put it down and try something else 🙂 For calming her, try Chamomile or Vetiver. We also have a great nighttime blend that does not include Lavender, called Sweet Slumber. It was made specifically without Lavender for children who do not respond to it very well 🙂 I hope this helps and please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of aromatherapists at [email protected] if you need more guidance

  12. I am a postpartum doula and this is very helpful information to share with new moms. I love the tip about applying the diluted oil to mother, then snuggling the baby! Thank you

  13. When diffusing with an infant, is there an amount per 100ml water I should be using? I usually do 3-5 drops per 100mls. Does the amount need to be lower for safety with infants. (I will be having a new baby come April and want to keep using our household diffuser)

    1. Rachael, for more information outside of this article, contact our aromatherapist team at [email protected]. Having a one-on-one conversation with our experts can help you make the safest diffusion choices with your new little one 🙂

  14. This is so helpful! I am new to oils and just placed my first purchase with many of the kid safe oils! It is so comforting to know they are safe for my children, especially because I am just getting started and don’t want to “mess up” the dilution for my little ones!

  15. This is so helpful and instructional for safely using EO around and for my kids. Two thumbs up for PT and the Kidsafe range!!

  16. I have been using eo’s since way before my 6 month old was born, but got nervous about how to use them on and around her. This post is extremely helpful in guiding me on the right path. Thank you PT!

  17. I never would have thought to put an oil on me to help the baby. What a great idea. Thank you I’m going to try this right away. It also looks like we should order healing balm, and a hydrosol

  18. This is a fantastic resource! As a mom of little little ones, including a baby, I am very cautious of using oils around them. I stick to only Kid Safe oils with my older two, but have avoided all oils with the baby, and even on myself many times, because I didn’t think it was safe. This article helps me understand the safest ways to use essential oils with the baby, when necessary, and I will definitely be referring to it many times! Thank you, Plant Therapy, for having the safety of our littlest littles in mind!

  19. I’m so glad I found this! My LO is just over 2 months old and I’ve been fretting about what I can and cannot use around him. (I was thinking I’d have to hide my oils away until he was 2 years old!) I’m going to pass this along to my SIL as well. Thank you!

  20. This was very helpful. I’ve been using essential oils for years but only in diffusers . Right now I’ve started using them topically for me, my husband and 2 year old munchkin. This was very educative. Thank You

  21. So how would you recommend diffusing in a bedroom for a 19 month old. I know:
    – use a kidsafe oil
    – 30-60 minutes 1-2x a day

    But is that 30-60 min of constant diffusing or do you recommend a certain intermittency?
    I have the diffuser that comes in the kidsafe kit (AromaFuse Diffuser). If I only plan to use it on random sleepless nights, would I fill that all the way with water, or half way, or? And how many drops of oil to use?
    If there’s some left over can I leave that in the diffuser for next time?

  22. This was so helpful. I had little ones coming for Christmas and wanted to be sure I wasn’t diffusing something that would be harmful to them. Love Plant Therapy!

  23. Thank you! I’m new to essential oils and this is helpful for me to know with my little one. Question, if an oil is not labeled kid safe does that mean it shouldn’t be used in your house at all if you have kids? Example: if I want to diffuse eucalyptus in a closed off room after my child is in bed is this safe?

    1. Katie, this is best left as a personal decision on whether or not you are okay with diffusing an oil we do not label as KidSafe 🙂

  24. I’m so thankful for the easy to use information not only for my littles at home but to be able to share this knowledge with friends and family. The benefits of oils is amazing, but really need to be safe for the whole family to maximize!

  25. I am very new to essential oils. I started with a MLM company just before finding plant therapy. I always worried about using essential oils around my toddler. This post really helped clarify so much about using oils safely with a two year old.

  26. This post was incredibly helpful! This put my mind at ease about deciding to try essential oils with my children. I love how this company has given so much attention to children and safety! I feel like I could contact the company if I have questions. Thank you!

  27. Great post! I want to try the chamomile hydrosol for my almost 6 year old who keeps loosing teeth and getting her 6 year molars. I think it will help with the pain.

  28. I will have my grandbabies for 4 days next week. My 2 yo granddaughter is a very restless sleeper even in her own bed. I’ve been apprehensive about how she will cope in a strange bed. SO thankful I came across this blog! I have ordered a couple PT kid safe synergies in preparation, but I was unsure of how to use them safely. Hoping now we can ALL get some sleep next week! THANK YOU!

  29. This was a huge help! I have a daughter under 2 and was wondering what I could and couldn’t do for her! This was very helpful!

  30. Thank you for this post! I forwarded it to another newer mom. We both really want to use oils more, but having little ones make us apprehensive. This helped alleviate some of those anxieties!

  31. I love this blog post so much! I’ve always been a fan of EOs, but when my daughter was born, I started a research frenzy to make sure that I was using them correctly for her. I love the hug method of application. That way, we both get the benefit! I also purchased hydrosols for the first time because of this post. I’m not super fond of them, but I love that I can use them with her without worrying!

  32. Thank you for sharing this! I am new to the EO world and have 2 littles.. I am so thankful to have such a wealth of information at my fingertips!

  33. Thank you! I’m new to EO’s and also have a young family – their safety being my number one priority, this is full of great info! I’ve saved this one 🙂

  34. I am so thankful for this post! My little one is just about to turn one, and I have so far been wary of using essential oils around her. I am now a bit more confident in supporting the health of my family safely.

  35. I just learned that I am going to be a grandma! I am over the moon excited and the timing of this post could not have come at a better time for me! Thank you so much for putting this together. Love you all at PT!!!

  36. We diffuse lavender typically for bedtime, but just bought the sniffle stopper synergy to try, very hopeful from what I read, would love to help the little one when he gets all stuffy! 🙁

  37. I got into essential oils because I wanted to be able to have more natural ways to take care of myself. Plant Therapy stood out to me because of the specialized kids line, but I didnt know how to use them for my little one under 2. Now I’m excited to know how to safely use them for her as well!

  38. Excited to start discovering all the great benefits for my little ones. Sleep and teething are on the top of my list for further exploration and education. Thank you for these awesome blogs!

  39. Thank you for this post. I have a facebook friend who is diehard with “shall not be named” oils and it makes me cringe every time I see her giving advice on using neat oils on babies!!! I’m so thankful that Plant Therapy has family safety a top priority.

  40. This post came at the perfect time for my family as baby #4 just arrived last week! I’ve been hesitant to use any oils in the house at all, but this post explains everything so well that I feel much more comfortable using them again, knowing how to do it safely. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this article, so that we can keep our littlest ones safe!

  41. With a 21 month old and another due any day now, this information is perfect. It has made me less nervous about when and how to use eos on and around my kids.

  42. This was very helpful, it is so important to understand the dilution level especially for kids under 2. We have used both EO’s in diffusers and lotions for kids along with diy vapor rub with great success.

  43. Thank you! Such a timely post on usage for children less than 2 years of age! Many have been debating whether to allow usage of essential oils for children under 2, even the KidSafe ones. Such a helpful post!

  44. I love this article! I am a mama with a 12 yr old and a 4 month old. This baby was like learning all over again. Luckily a lot of it is like riding a bike.
    However I have only been using oils here and there for the last few years and no one really focuses on the safety of them. Sometimes we forget… plants are amazing and have the ability to restore and heal us but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing and not all plants are mild. There are plenty that are toxic.
    It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to our little ones!

  45. My son just turned 2 in October but I have used most of all the wonderful Sniffle Stopper diffused for him before that too! and also used these dilution guidelines from PT!! Thank you Plant Therapy for being so informative and caring for our children!!! This is the very reason I became a customer of PT and would NEVER buy from anyone else! We love PT!!

  46. This is a great guide! It’s important to be careful with essential oils around kids. Some are safe, some are not. This is a very good reference, thank you for sharing!

  47. I’m so glad for this blog post! I’ve been thinking twice, thrice about using EOs on my toddler safely and this really gave me the confidence to do it. Thank you very much PT!

  48. Thank you for this post! I’ve been getting so many differing answers that I wasn’t sure what to do with my 14mo! This post helped me make a more informed and confident decision when using essential oils on and around my child.

  49. I would caution to stay away from wintergreen for sure for young ones. One day I forgot that wintergreen is not kid safe and put it in my necklace diffuser. My son kept getting weird random hives from it after he placed his head near my necklace.

  50. I love using essential oils on my toddlers. I use lavender on them almost every night to relax them before bed. I would like to start using more oils as I learn about each of the benefits of them.

  51. This is probably one of the best articles i have read on using oils with younger children. We use oils for everything! It’s so awesome to be able to use this article for reference.

  52. I just placed my first order this week and was feeling unsure as to how to use the oils with my toddler. This blog helped me figure that out without having to hunt for idiot ion online. I also love that your products are labeled ‘kidsafe’. Having this labeling really helps take the guess work out of what is or is not safe for kids. Thank You!

  53. i see so many parents around me using diffuser whenever their kids are down with a cold. the essential oils really helped the kids’ to have speedy recovery.

  54. The kid safe logo is one of the reasons I love Plant Therapy oils. Takes all the guesswork out. There’s so much conflicting out there on this topic. Thanks for the great info!

  55. I first learn the safe use of essential oils for toddlers from LeAnna when I sent her an email. I’m happy this blog has been posted. It gives more information and details. Thanks so much!

  56. Thanks so much for this wonderful post!!! I have a newborn (as well as other young kiddos). I use the PT Kidsafe EOs but was searching this week for answers about using them with very young children. Again, thanks so much !!

  57. Thank you so much for this post! It has calmed a lot of my worry and anxiety I had with using essential oils around my grandchild. I did not know there was a safer way to use the oils on children under 2. I will be ordering extra healing balm as Christmas presents along with the hydrosol since he is now teething. Thank you Plant Therapy! ❤️

  58. Thank you for addressing this! Not many companies address EO safety for little ones. Your KidSafe line is exactly why I switched to Plant Therapy. I am so grateful! Keep up the good work 🙂

  59. Awesome post! The kidsafe line is the main reason I chose plant therapy! The dedication to our little ones is outstanding! Thank you and happy holidays to you all!

  60. As a first time mom of a 5 month old, so glad to see this blog post! Curious though, what prompted the change from no oils under two to it being okay? I’m sure there’s ever evolving studies done but just curious. Thanks!

    1. Alisa, you’re right! In the world of aromatherapy, partly thanks to its growing popularity, studies are frequently being done — giving us lots of new information to share! I think the largest concern here is that a person would unsafely use essential oils on babies, rather than following the recommendations. We want to provide our customers with the most up to date safety information we can and hope they use their oils wisely 🙂

  61. Thank you!!!!! This is extremely helpful. I’m pretty new to EOs but they smell so lovely and have so many uses that I do want to share (safely) with my kids. Nothing like going back to basics.

  62. Thank you for this clear and concise information! I love that Plant Therapy teaches safety and values their customer’s wellness above the bottom line. Hydrosols are one of my favorite things to use on my littles and I love the idea of baby massage with infused carrier oils!

  63. This is a great post, and perfectly timed as I’m due to have my 4th baby in a couple of weeks! Thanks for always looking out for us and our little ones!

  64. Essential Oils have made a tremendous difference for my children, my youngest especially. As a 5 year old with OCD, sometimes life is hard, but with Plant Therapy it has been much easier!

  65. This is such a handy article. My 18month boy lines up to have his turn when his older brothers use their rollerball bedtime oil. We have been pretending to use it on him but it is great to know we can mix a more diluted blend for him to enjoy the same great benefits.

  66. Thank you for this post. I have been diffusing oils without knowing the right ratio. actually waiting for magnetic oil chart I ordered from PT.

  67. Love this! I can’t believe how many times I read on social media that people are recommending to other moms to “use this oil on your sick child”. And it ends up being an oil that isn’t safe for children! This article did a great job of explaining the options and I”ll be sure to recommend it to others as a place to begin their research when I see such posts!

  68. This is SO helpful! I’m always wary of using oils on babies & kids, but this helps me understand the safe and proper ways of using oils on and near children. Thank you so much for this blog post!

  69. I’m so glad I read this. I knew you had to be more cautious with littles, but always assumed you shouldn’t use EOs on children under age 2. I’ll definitely keep this saved!

  70. I love this post! There is so much valuable information here. This is definitely my go-to for a quick study of this topic. Thank you!

  71. This was so helpful. And your KidSafe line is the main reason I only buy oils from Plant Therapy. It takes the guess work out for me.

  72. My kids are obsessed with oils! My boys are older and have their own rollers, inhalers and diffuser. My littlest is about to turn 2 and I’ve mostly used diffusion if she is severely congested.

  73. Thank you for this! I have a son who is almost a year old and these are some great tips! I share this with everyone I know who uses essential oils with younger children.

  74. This is such great information. There is so much conflicting info on the internet, it’s hard to,figure out what’s accurate and what isn’t. Super excited to have it all available her from a trusted source!

  75. I’m so glad you do posts like this. I started using oils about 25 years ago as a teenager, but even when I had kids later, I didn’t know all the safety concerns .It’s great that parents now have such great companies such as PT who care so much for the safety of ALL the customers, big and little!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Sandy! We’re so happy we can provide our awesome customers with good information!

  76. One of my most favorite things about this company, aside from the quality of their oils, is their focus on safe use of essential oils for all ages. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to educate us all!

  77. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this blog post! So incredibly informative and helpful. I’ve shared it with many friends with littles. Thank you for all your efforts in helping us keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy!!!

    1. Thank you for sharing Katie! We are so happy that you’re able to benefit from this information and share it with your friends 🙂

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